Reflections: Extreme Math Challenge 2017

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Extreme Math Challenge 2017
Amanda Culver

Between Walter Murray Collegiate and Centennial Collegiate, we host the Extreme Math Challenge and the Extreme Math Camp every year. On Saturday, March 18th, we launched our first full-day Extreme Math Challenge. In the past, this event was held after school. However, we always felt that our schedule was rushed and would have liked to have more time with students. And thus, the weekend Extreme Math Challenge was born.

The brains behind this event (Cam Milner and Aditi Garg) planned a fun day of math for students from Grades 7 to 10. Students pre-selected teams for the team round of the challenge and also participated in an individual round of questions. A fun addition this year was the relay. To encourage collaboration and get students working with peers from different schools, students were randomly split into smaller teams upon their arrival in the gym. There, they had to complete a variety of activities to get from one end of the gym to the other in order to answer a math question before heading back to their team. Students spent about an hour being active while also completing some quick questions.

The day was interspersed with brain teasers, lunch, and snacks. Cookies were provided—but not just any cookies: they were decorated with circle properties! Students also had the opportunity to decorate their own cookies. Of course, we like to recognize students for coming out on a Saturday to do math, so the day concluded with some individual, team, and relay round prizes (including calculators, books, and candy).

Here’s what my day looked like:

Needless to say, everyone left feeling well-challenged, which means that our job was accomplished. New friendships were made, and we anticipate seeing many of these faces this summer at our Extreme Math Camp.

If you weren’t able to make it to Extreme Math Challenge this year, don’t worry—you and your students can still join in on the fun by exploring a few of the problems from the competition (below). If you find interesting solutions, share them by submitting them to The Variable!

  1. If is a simplified fraction (that is, reduced to lowest terms) and is between 0 and 2, how many values are possible for N?
  1. When the hands of a clock indicate the time is 9:20, then what is the measure of the obtuse angle formed by the hands, in degrees?
  1. Howard goes out for a run every 3 days, goes to the store every 5 days, and watches a movie every 7 days. If he did all 3 things on September 1, then on what date (give month and day) does he next do all three things on the same day?
  1. How many ways can you make 8 boy-girl pairs with 8 boys and 8 girls?
  1. What are the last two digits of 112016 and 72016?

Amanda Culver has been a French and mathematics secondary teacher within the province of Saskatchewan for four years. She aims to make her classroom a safe and supportive space to be and to learn mathematics. Amanda’s closet is full of math t-shirts, and she got a “pi” tattoo on Ultimate Pi Day. Needless to say, she loves math!

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